Physical therapy can address a variety of pelvic floor issues a child can experience including daytime urinary incontinence, bowel incontinence, bed-wetting, constipation, painful bowel movements, difficulty toilet training, and abdominal pain/bloating.
Pediatric bladder and bowel dysfunction is common and a condition that can be treated. The pelvic floor is made up of muscles and other tissues that form a sling from the pubic bone to the tailbone. They help to support the abdominal and pelvic organs and to control bladder and bowel activity. In children, when the pelvic floor muscles are too weak, too tight or too active, they can cause accidents, constipation, tummy troubles, bed-wetting, and potty-training issues.
Physical Therapy is a non-invasive approach that can be very effective in helping your child gain control and independence with bowel and bladder function. A physical therapist can educate children and their families about proper bowel and bladder habits, dietary modifications, and pelvic floor awareness and control. Children can learn where their pelvic floor muscles are, how to contract and relax them, and how to use them properly to avoid urine or stool leakage.
Biofeedback is used to help retrain dysfunctional pelvic floor muscles. These muscles are responsible for bladder and bowel function and control. Special sensors are attached to your skin so they can pick up the electrical activity from these muscles. Your muscle activity will be displayed on a computer screen and you will be able to practice how to properly use and relax your pelvic floor muscles.
Images and sounds are combined with computer games to provide the best “feedback” to help you identify these muscles and become more aware of what is going on in your body to help relief your bladder and bowel symptoms. Here are some examples of the imagery that’s used: